Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Transform Any Event into a Tropical Paradise

By Dani Heinemeyer

This March, when people thought of Brazil, the FIFA World Cup came to mind. But Brazil was the focus of another important event: Conservation International’s 18th annual Los Angeles Dinner, a gala honoring board member Skip Brittenham and his contribution to the organization’s work in the Amazon. Three hundred people attended, including Hollywood personalities like Harrison Ford, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jason Ritter, and the event raised funds for critical initiatives on global ecosystems and biodiversity.

Conservation International partnered with creative design and production company Destination Concepts inc. (DCi) to align event design with its mission of sustainability. The result was a stunning eco-conscious event that renewed guests’ commitment to creating a healthy environment through every endeavor.

DCi transformed the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel into a lush rainforest, complete with tropical foliage and the sound of frogs and running water. Materials were selected with the organization’s conservation focus in mind, including reclaimed wood, repurposed tropical foliage rentals, and linens from water-saving laundry services. “We didn’t want to turn the dinner into something cheesy with leopard print,” says Allyson Kenney, the event’s designer. “We wanted the event to be elegant yet budget conscious, so that the focus was on the charity itself.”

Guests felt like they were transported directly to the Amazon. Tables were designed to mimic the rainforest floor, and gobo projections illuminated vines and foliage onto the walls and ceiling to create a canopy effect. A custom animated bird was projected through two moving head projectors, soaring above guests’ heads throughout the night.

The Details
Tables were decorated with copper and chocolate-toned bark taffeta linen, green glass chargers, reclaimed driftwood branches, and mosses and succulents similar to those found in a rainforest. Conservation International partner Glassybaby provided votives for the table settings. The Seattle based glassblowing company donates 10 percent of sales to nonprofits ranging from cancer research to animal rescue, and offers its products in hundreds of colors.

Rather than utilizing the traditional two-screen projection, the event featured a 40-by-15-foot LED wall behind the stage. The screen was used to spotlight rainforest videos, slide content and footage of Conservation International’s new public awareness campaign. A podium built from a single reclaimed tree stump served as the focal point for speakers. The result was a picturesque event that blended celebration and conservation while raising over $875,000.

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